Agreement between War

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Theorists were reluctant to adopt a contractual framework for the ethics of war, in part because it seems that it would assume that the agreement would be declared null and void if one party violated it. This has unpleasant consequences in that it suggests, for example, that if one party targets prisoners of war or civilians, the other party can do the same (if it is effective enough to promote a just cause). But Benbaji and Statman argue that such a violation does not invalidate the war agreement. Instead, “the normative implications of the violation of the war treaty are themselves part of the treaty.” They argue that the war treaty contains contingencies that delineate the permissible responses to violations by granting rights of recourse to the injured party. These rights of reparation effectively weaken the constraints inherent in war by allowing reprisals, but under extremely limited conditions. This deters infringements to the benefit of all parties involved. In cases where the violation is flagrant and widespread, such as in cases where a party uses weapons of mass destruction, the treaty of war allows the injured party to react in the same way. These agreements also lead to accompanying bans and moral approvals, in accordance with the contractual framework developed by Benbaji and Statman. Benbaji and Statman`s book will be – and deserves to be – the final presentation of a contractual theory of war for years to come. But as I noticed, the book has flaws.

I focused on one thing: the book does not adequately explain how citizens of authoritarian regimes approve the war agreement through their government, as this requires the renunciation of pre-contractual fundamental rights. In any case, this book will serve and should serve as a definitive alternative to the revisionist war ethic. The U.S. Treaty Collection includes the U.S. Treaty Series (1795-1945) and the U.S. Treaties and Other International Agreements or TIAS (1950-1984). This collection contains treaties to which the United States is or has been a party. Peace treaties, although different, generally have a general common objective: to lay down the conditions for a lasting settlement of hostilities between two warring parties.

To this end, the provisions of peace treaties tend to solve common problems. These include the formal designation of borders, access to and allocation of natural and man-made resources, settlement of relevant debts, recognition of refugees, processes for the settlement of future disputes and identification of conduct relevant to compliance with the provisions of the Treaty. In addition to similar provisions, peace treaties have similar formats. They often begin with an introduction or preamble that sets out the purpose of the peace treaty. These introductions often refrain from repeating often discussed facts about the conflict, but simply explain that peace will begin. The Treaty of Paris, which ended the American War of Independence with Britain in 1783, begins with a preface declaring the intention of both sides “to forget all the misunderstandings and differences of the past” and “to ensure both eternal peace and harmony.” The Israeli-Jordanian peace treaty, signed in 1994, contains a preamble declaring the “end of the state of war” between the two nations. The Treaty of Versailles of the First World War, signed in 1919, renounced a prolonged formal introduction in favor of a descriptive title, followed by immediate articles on the foundation of the League of Nations. After the start of the peace treaty, the provisions follow – the heart of the peace agreement.

Since the provisions can be numerous and deal with many issues, they are often organized in the contract, like other lengthy documents. Many contracts are divided into parts, sections, chapters and finally articles. The Treaty of Versailles, for example, consists of fifteen parts. Part I defines the League of Nations, while Part II describes the official boundaries of Germany and Part XI describes the conditions of air navigation. Each part is then divided into sections, each section into chapters and each chapter into articles. For example, Part X, Economic Clauses, Section I, contains trade relations, which contains Chapter 1, Customs Regulations, Customs Duties and Restrictions, which contains Article 264, which expressly prohibits Germany from imposing certain restrictions on imported goods. However, a less complex treaty, such as the Treaty of Portsmouth of 1905, which ended the Russo-Japanese War, for example, has no parts, chapters or sections, but only fifteen articles. Similarly, the Israeli-Jordanian peace treaty contains 30 articles. The treaty was concluded between Ramses II and Hatusiliš III in the twenty-first year of Ramses` reign.[14] (c. 1258 BC).

Its eighteen articles call for peace between Egypt and Hatti, and then affirm that their respective peoples also demand peace. It contains many elements found in more modern treaties, but it has more scope than the mere declaration of the end of hostilities in subsequent treaties. It also includes a mutual assistance pact in the event that one of the empires is attacked by a third party or in the event of internal disputes. There are articles on the forced repatriation of refugees and provisions that they must not be harmed, which could be considered the first extradition treaty. There are also threats of retaliation if the treaty is broken. There are two hypotheses that have guided theorists writing about the ethics of war since the scholastics and jurists of the late Renaissance and early modern period (sixteenth to nineteenth century). First, war is a relationship between states (or more recently between a state and a collective struggle for a state) rather than a relationship between individuals. Second, the moral rules governing wartime behavior do not depend on the morality of the war being fought. These doctrines form the basis of what has become known as the theory of just war. Since the turn of the century, however, the doctrines underlying the theory of just war have been under sustained attack.

According to this new revisionist critique, war is more a relationship between individuals than between states. Therefore, individual soldiers participating in an unjust war cannot absolve themselves of responsibility for what they do by emphasizing their role as instruments of the state. Therefore, the moral rules that govern wartime behavior actually depend on the morality of the war being fought. This view undermines two pillars of the traditional theory of just war. According to the revisionists, 1) the moral equality of combatants is poor and 2) not all civilians enjoy general moral immunity from attack. But what if we morally burden the decisions made by authoritarian leaders themselves? This is the second strategy that Benbaji and Statman seem to be pursuing. They suggest that if an unconfirmed but accepted political leader makes a fiduciary decision regarding the pre-contractual rights of the citizen, that decision is morally effective if that decision is a good relevant decision, because it would make sense for people to make that decision themselves. Thus, with regard to the war agreement, Benbaji and Statman say: “It is morally effective only if states acted on behalf of their (selfish but decent) citizens at the time of signing, so that those citizens enjoy better security and their rights are better protected under this war agreement” (69). The agreement, they say, “is morally effective only if decent individuals had adhered to it themselves” (69).

Thus, perhaps an unsupported but accepted authoritarian leader can actually make decisions that override by proxy the fundamental rights of his citizens if the decisions are morally good enough. The problem, however, is that authoritarian regimes involve unjust or disrespectful social relations between those who have political power and those who do not. Arguably, they do so by definition. The politically disadvantaged class is definitively deprived of its fundamental rights, including the right to political representation. Admittedly, this is an unfair and disrespectful social relationship. If this prevents acceptance, then China`s political leaders do not have the legitimacy to conclude treaties on behalf of their people. The result is that the war agreement would only apply to a handful of states, while Benbaji and Statman argue that it applies to everyone at the UN and others. So we cannot “morally weigh down” acceptance to explain how decisions made by authoritarian leaders are morally effective. However, this view has bizarre implications. Suppose the authoritarian ruler of a country decides not to be part of the war agreement.

Since such a decision is only morally effective if decent people had made it themselves, the leader`s decision is morally ineffective. This decision is ineffective because, according to the hypothesis, decent individuals would have chosen differently. Otherwise, suppose that the Führer actually chooses to be part of the war agreement. .